Centre has acknowledged ‘Mahadalit’: Nitish

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today claimed that the Centre had acknowledged the use of term Mahadalits for the extremely backward, whose condition his government was committed to develop.

Updated: Apr 21, 2011, 22:29 PM IST

Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar
today claimed that the Centre had acknowledged the use of term Mahadalits for the extremely backward, whose condition his
government was committed to develop.

"I am happy that the term Mahadalit is now being used
and has been accepted by the National Advisory Council (NAC)
led by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi ... NAC has identified the
word and states should also accept it for the uplift of
Mahadalits," he told a function organised to mark the 120th
birth anniversary of Baba Saheb Bhimrao Ambedkar.

"When I coined the word `Mahadalit`, people vehemently
opposed it and even knocked the door of National SC/ST
Commission and the judiciary," Kumar said apparently referring
to the opposition by LJP-RJD combine which had accused him of
heaping `insult` on dalits.

The NAC, he said, was considering a proposal for
enacting food security legislation and its documents mention
mahadalits for the below poverty line people being extremely
backwards among the dalits.

The chief minister announced that tola sevaks posted at
the upliftment centres in Mahadalit tolas would soon be
getting hiked mandays of Rs 3,000 per month from Rs 2,000 per
month.

The state government would also accord top priority to
see Bihar in the list of top five states in terms of literacy
by 2021 census.

"I am satisfied with the pace and progress in the
literacy rate the state has achieved so far ... According to
the final figures available in 2011 census in India, there has
been significant and satisfactory progress in terms of
literacy, but we have to do more."

The state government would give coupons to dalits for
purchasing radios, he said and asked private firms to organise
fairs for ensuring sale of radios at appropriate price.

Official sources said there were a number of development
and welfare schemes like MNREGA, Indira Awas in operation in
Bihar aimed at alleviation of the condition of dalits and
Mahadalits but the intended beneficiaries were apparently
unaware of such schemes.

It has been, therefore, decided to launch community
radio service, part of Mahadalit Mission programme on
experimental basis to make them aware of their rights and
various schemes for them, which is the thrust of Chief
Minister`s Jeevan Dristi Yojana, the sources said.

Agencies implementing the community radio service will
tie up with radio manufacturers for distribution of equipment
at a camp to those registered with the concerned department,
the sources added.

PTI